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Liberal is one of those words whose meaning has morphed into the exact opposite of the original. Just as those who grew up in the eighties and nineties may remember using the word ‘wicked’ to describe something innovative, exciting and worthy of hyperbolic praise rather than something evil and diabolical, so ‘liberal’ has come to mean ‘illiberal’.

It wasn’t always thus. Liberalism, in its 18th century day, meant freedom of conscience and religious belief, and the freedom to use one’s own intelligence and reason to discuss and debate openly and freely in the Socratic tradition. We still speak of living in a liberal democracy, where there is freedom of speech and thought, people may trade or not trade as they see fit without interference by the state, and all are equal before the law.

The British tradition of law is inherently liberal in its true sense: everything is permissible unless it is specifically prohibited. This is the opposite of the Napoleonic code from which European law stems, where nothing is permitted unless the state has passed a regulation to allow it.

British classic liberalism – democracy, free speech and equality before the law – is something to be cherished and conserved. If it is eroded and dissolved, it will not easily be re-created. Some of the confusion as to what liberalism actually is arises because the 18th century Enlightenment, in which reason and free thought were encouraged, followed very different paths in Great Britain and France. Indeed, it could be argued that there were two enlightenments.

In Britain, it was guided by conservatives such as Edmund Burke, who were grounded in Judaeo-Christian belief and culture. In France, it was both an economic and a cultural revolution. The economic aspect is clear: the proletariat rose against the bourgeoisie and took power, but the key cultural aspect of this revolutionary ‘enlightenment’ is often overlooked: secularism overthrew Christianity.

by Harry Farley, Christian Today: Pro-LGBT Anglicans are hitting back at suggestions the Church of England’s gay-friendly sister church in America could be booted out of the global Anglican Communion over its stance on same-sex weddings. A hard-hitting letter from the CofE’s general secretary, William Nye, warned The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the US it could […]

by David Pickering, Anglican Mainstream. The Anglican Patrimony conference (at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, on 25-26 April) brought together a wide range of those who value the Anglican inheritance and are concerned for traditional Christian orthodoxy, not only from the Church of England, but also ACNA, the Ordinariate, and the Anglican continuum. Its stated aim […]

We gathered on 16-19 April 2018 in Entebbe, Uganda to share in Bible study, prayer, worship and fellowship. We give thanks for the gracious hospitality of Archbishop Stanley Ntagali and the Anglican Church of Uganda. We began our day with Bible study led by Bishop Andy Lines, Archbishop-elect Laurent Mbanda and Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje. As […]

from Belfast News Letter: The launch today of a Church of Ireland group opposed to what it sees as growing secularisation in Anglican churches is “not about schism”, a Belfast rector has insisted. Rev Trevor Johnston, rector of All Saints’ in Belfast, was speaking ahead of the launch of a Church of Ireland branch of […]

by Jules Gomes, Rebel Priest: Syria is a holy war, stupid! So why are we, Western morons, getting sucked into a bloody jihad that is not ours to fight? Why? Because East is East and West is West and wide-eyed Westerners refuse to concede how central religion is to the Eastern worldview. Because we labour […]

by Ian Paul, Psephizo: I have been very hesitant to make any comment about the scrutiny of Chichester Diocese in the Independent Inquiry in Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) for many good reasons. The issue is so deeply painful and complex, and it touches on many interrelated issues in church and society—but that hasn’t prevented several […]

by Canon J John: Increasingly, I’m coming across a distorted view of history and society. Writers and speakers look at the modern Western world with its technology, culture and its advocacy of human rights and democracy, and imply that it all mysteriously ‘just happened’. It is taken for granted that those values we prize, and […]

by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream: Mark Yarhouse has built a reputation as a sound and trustworthy guide in the field of gender confusion. As a Professor of Psychology at a respected American University with a strong evangelical heritage he is frequently quoted with approval by evangelical commentators as someone who combines Christian faith, scientific expertise, pastoral […]

by Matt Walsh, Daily Wire: Our culture is very bad for boys. It’s bad for girls, too. It’s bad for everyone. But I think we fail to recognize and appreciate the unique struggles that boys face. Partly we fail to recognize it because we are too busy worrying about the Patriarchy’s persecution of women. Partly […]

by Brendan O’Neill, spiked: The question that hangs over the left, and which no one can answer. Why do you hate Israel more than any other nation? Why does Israel anger you more than any other nation does? Why do Israel’s military activities aggravate you and disturb your conscience and provoke you to outbursts of […]